Sony 270ES vs Epson 9400 - worth the extra £1,500?

TB303

Active Member
Hello people,
I'm building a proper home cinema set up and looking for a projector. The room is about 5m x 5m white walls and ceiling but easy-to control lighting (only one window). I'm aiming to get about 120" image on a wall (no screen but maybe some special projector paint) - seating about 3.5m away (have some flexibility there.

I was going for the Epson 9400, but was offered the Sony 270ES for about £4k (new) which on paper sounds like a good deal. They are both rather old models from 2018. My main use if films (4k, HDR if I can get it) from streaming service, won't have a BDP instead an apple TV. Also gaming (PS5 when I can actually get one).

Did anyone get to compare the two Projectors? It's a pretty big jump in price, is it worth it?

Thank you
 

alebonau

Well-known Member
I'm aiming to get about 120" image on a wall (no screen but maybe some special projector paint) - seating about 3.5m away (have some flexibility there.
firstly spending this sort of cash on serious projector like this... I would get a screen... people underestimate just how important screens are ! not sure the motivation not to get a screen if its saving cash its a false economy ... really not going to get the best from projectors looking at, at this level and there are quite affordable but decent screen options that will do a lot better than no screen or painted on screen.

I was going for the Epson 9400, but was offered the Sony 270ES for about £4k (new) which on paper sounds like a good deal. They are both rather old models from 2018. My main use if films (4k, HDR if I can get it) from streaming service, won't have a BDP instead an apple TV. Also gaming (PS5 when I can actually get one

the key here is 120" there are some pros and cons with each. i'll start with the pros of the 270es to get that out the way ...as there are genuine pros

pros of 270es
4k native... this does make a difference ... having gone from e-shift to 4k native there is a clarity, clean stable nature to the picture you dont get with the shift...plus there is genuine beyond 2k res to be benefitted from. then there is smoother look to the picture with much finer pixels. this is a significant pro for the sony vs the pixel shifting epson. sitting within THX spec for immersion you will notice this.

contrast - the epson wont compete with the sony for contrast.

Interpixel gap - is far better on sony here vs the epson - the epson is using still the same 1080p dark basis from nearly 10 years ago.... with the pixels placed further apart and larger inter pixel gap... the image from projectors like sony with a finer interpixel gap - combined with the native 4k picture looks much smoother - sitting at within THX spec for immersion with 120" from 2.5m you will notice this. think of it as join the dots... closer and greater the dots the smoother the lines and transitions look.

pros of the epson 9400
luminance - this will have enough luminance on low - med lamp to do SDR ~14FL/50nits and HDR 30FL/100nits. the sony will be fine with 100-120" with SDR, but wont be able to manage 50FL/100 nits on a 100" let alone 120" without being on high lamp. keep in mind the epson on higher lamp settings colours go all whacko and once calibrated looses some of this luminance advantage but greatly it will have more luminance up sleeve as lamp ages and this lumaince helps not only for HDR but for colour volume for WCG

iris - the epson has both a manual and dynamic iris, something the sony lacks. so on the epson you can set the peak luminance accurately - and also it will dynamically adjust iris for contrast - this is a little bit of an equaliser vs the sony contrast wise

WCG - wide colour gamut is one of key aspects of 4k uhd spec. the epson has wCG filter and with its higher peak luminance will deliver 100% colour space for 4k uhd. the sony doesnt have a WCG filter and cant deliver even 80% to meet 4k uhd spec

physical size - the epson is a more compact projector vs sony being a native 4k jobbie is physically larger - both still require a decent mount like the peerless PRG-UNV

Price - the epson is very significantly cheaper but i believe in pure picture quality terms and once both projectors are pro calibrated which i would also suggest the sony as long as working within its limits will win for pure picture quality and why paying more.

hey are both rather old models from 2018

actually they go way further back then that.... the 9400 is basically the 9300 with full bandwidth hdmi that for some reason they never fit on the 9300 limiting it not able to support 4k 50/60 which is far more common today. at the base of it though... the epson though actually is quite an old platform now going further back nearly 10 years to the original 9000 series and the 9400 still uses the same dark chip basis just adding pixel shift, the wcg filter, hdmi 2.0 and a bit more luminance for 4k uhd support. the sony was released in 2018...however it too goes way back to 2013 would you beleive... the 500 series just adds a more powerful lamp and dynamic iris, current models full bandwidth hdmi support. regardless of all that. i wouldn't see 270es as "old" its current 290es replacement doesnt add much if anything to be honest over what 270es had...
 

Luminated67

Distinguished Member
I’ll add my own experience into the make, a mate with a Sony 360es asked could he bring his machine over to my place because he was considering doing a bat cave like mine and wanted to see how it would look in such conditions. At the time I got a two way hdmi splitter so we could compare it against my Epson9400 and here’s both our thoughts.

On 1080p content both of us preferred the Epson, it just looked crisper though when the actual source material wasn’t that great the Sony smoothed this out better. With 4K we felt the Sony had a smoothness to the image that the Epson didn’t which @alebonau commented on but this difference wasn’t that great, what did surprise both of us was you didn’t see the extra resolution between 2K and 4K, we both had to move to within 7ft from my then 100” screen to start and see any difference and even then it was subtle, it took another foot closer to say Yep it’s better.

Black and contrast looked very close and definitely not something you would have noticed in isolation, but what was very noticeable was the superior lumens on HDR something we both felt the Sony struggled with.

At the end of it all he actually said he wish he had went and seen a 9400 before getting the Sony because he personally didn’t think it was worth the difference something I agreed with but then again everyone looks at value for money differently so best to try and see both to see if you feel the same way as us or not.
 
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alebonau

Well-known Member
couple of other pros cons i forgot

epson

all glass lens.... . epson have used the fuji all glass lens setup as long as can remember ! sony has plastic element for cost saving

lens memories - epson has lens memories which is useful if going scope lens. sony has no lens memory to speak off :)

ps id suggest go see both to make your own judgment... make sure both are professionally calibrated so not thrown by setup ...things like luminance are particularly important to be set as we are like moths to flame ....drawn to the brightest ... no matter no where near calibrated :D
 

TB303

Active Member
Thanks People,
Some really good feedback, perhaps the 9400 makes more sense for the money, £2.5k is a lot already and I'm spending another £3k on a proper 5.1.2 setup.

My main issue with a screen is wanting a minimal look when not in use, and trying to save on what is already a £6k setup (with the 9400). What would be some good cheapish menual screens I could consider? ALR one are huge (fixed) and expensive...

Thank you for all the advice, I'll get there in the end :)
 

alebonau

Well-known Member
Some really good feedback, perhaps the 9400 makes more sense for the money, £2.5k is a lot already and I'm spending another £3k on a proper 5.1.2 setup.
the 2.5k vs 4k for a projector ... might leave more than enough money for a pro calibration and a proper screen...honestly do it :)

My main issue with a screen is wanting a minimal look when not in use, and trying to save on what is already a £6k setup (with the 9400). What would be some good cheapish menual screens I could consider? ALR one are huge (fixed) and expensive...

honestly at this level of projector its a very false economy...pocket the savings with the epson and put it to good use...

why manual ? get a decent but affordable motorised screen like grandview... wont break the bank and once calibrated as friends recently got done will give an excellent result !

ALR will just add cost and unless planning to run screen with ambient light, you can do well with a conventional setup calibrated so in most settings with ambient light removed id suggest...
 

Luminated67

Distinguished Member
Thanks People,
Some really good feedback, perhaps the 9400 makes more sense for the money, £2.5k is a lot already and I'm spending another £3k on a proper 5.1.2 setup.

My main issue with a screen is wanting a minimal look when not in use, and trying to save on what is already a £6k setup (with the 9400). What would be some good cheapish menual screens I could consider? ALR one are huge (fixed) and expensive...

Thank you for all the advice, I'll get there in the end :)
I’d suggest contacting @Rickyj at Kalibrate who sells the Epson and do a range of their own screens, I believe if you purchase the projector from him he offers a pre calibration before shipment, it’s not going to be as accurate as a calibration done on site in your room but it should be close enough to leave until funds to get him or someone else over to calibrate it.

An electric screen can be had for around £1k or a little more with tab-tension which would give the wall that clean look when not in use and the best flattest surface when in use this side of a fixed frame.

HiViLux screens regularly do weekly specials and currently have a 110” tab tension electric for €700.

 

TB303

Active Member
Thanks Mate, HiLux look good, but Brexit :(

Since I'm redoing the room (cabling etc) I can get that wall plastered and painted by an expert, so it'll look smooth and clean, I wonder how much of a difference an entry level screen will make, I guess people made that move before. Sorry as a certified audiophile I find '4k projection screen' kinda off-putting :)
 

alebonau

Well-known Member
Since I'm redoing the room (cabling etc) I can get that wall plastered and painted by an expert, so it'll look smooth and clean, I wonder how much of a difference an entry level screen will make, I guess people made that move before. Sorry as a certified audiophile I find '4k projection screen' kinda off-putting :)
honestly please i have seen goodness know how many feel screen doesnt matter ... please do consider a decent screen with projector like this. you are spending 1000s on a projector you can get decent and affordable screens and being motorised will exit out of way when not in use...

contact as suggest above by luminated above :) well worth it :) in my country we have screen maker that does packages with epson and bought as a package not sure why would not go any other way. i am quite confident if get a screen and projector package its hardly going to cost you much more and be a very false economy not getting a screen :) and there is no such thing as a "4k projection screen" a screen is an investment and will outlast projectors ... mine has seen 5 projectors and i keep mine 3-5 years typically till tech surpasses them and worth the investment to upgrade... so a long term investment ....
 

Luminated67

Distinguished Member
Thanks Mate, HiLux look good, but Brexit :(

Since I'm redoing the room (cabling etc) I can get that wall plastered and painted by an expert, so it'll look smooth and clean, I wonder how much of a difference an entry level screen will make, I guess people made that move before. Sorry as a certified audiophile I find '4k projection screen' kinda off-putting :)

If you have your mind set you don’t want a proper screen then at least invest on proper projector screen paint (yes there is such a thing).

Good stuff isn’t as cheap as regular paint but will give you a similar effect as an ALR screen, if not a member of AVSForums.com I would suggest jointing and contacting a member on there call MississippiMan. He travels all over the world painting projector screens with his paint formula, including commercial cinemas and he sells his paint for people to do it themselves, he only recommends the paint being sprayed in very light dust coats up to 10 layers but the results speak for themselves.

 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
I did the Pj paint route.
Just get dulux Greeysteel2 and you will be very happy.
I can sell you some aluminimum stuff you're meant to put in the paint for a good price btw.


The issue with importing black flame is the cost, appliciation measures, if you get it wrong.. what do u do etc. Someone from the UK bought it and had a tough time and when compared to GS2, found them about equal.

Personal opinion of course.


FYI I have a draper react 3.0 95'' and 110'' screen.. both high end tab tensions and outside of the amaazing ALR properties, the greysteel 2 is fantastic.


This is coming from someone who has gone down the PJ paint route VERY recently. If you need some advice on room treatment if you don't want to completely black out a room, let me know too. I have a good paint combo which has worked well from MR Missipiman.
 

Luminated67

Distinguished Member
Thanks people I hear you, will consider a proper screen.
Depending on the colour of the walls in the room but if grey or not done yet you should consider a zero edge screen with grey material and then colour match the paint for the rest of the wall, that way the screen might blend into the background.

71B21920-96E5-48FF-945E-31362A7075EB.jpeg


Just a thought
 

DB9S

Well-known Member
Just want to say that only the exit element on the Sony is polymer and that is because it is easier/cheaper to make the aspherical element in polymer rather than glass.
It is still a quality lens and not a poor relation by any means.
 

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